I just found out that Kent Hayden had passed away. It takes a while for the news to get to Colorado. I graduated YHS 1977. Although I played sports there I never played under Coach Hayden. I did have him as a teacher for social studies. All of the teachers that (vainly) attempted to teach me were great, however only a few were truly inspiring. Only Mr. Hayden, Coach Ken Miller and Mr. Cady are in that category. He was a great teacher that brought such dismal subjects as economics to life. He also inspired me to be something more than I was, to “seek excellence.”
It was very good advice as I was a member of an organization (US Army) that had the achievement of “excellence” as an evaluation factor. He was a man of great moral courage as well. He was a very leftist person in a very right wing community. There were many complaints about his views. I always enjoyed the debates in his class. He was a man of reason that always was willing to listen to other points of view, but you had better have a well informed position.
Obviously this is something that we could use more of today. He was also tough about upholding academic standards. I have very fond memories of a very cheerful and passionate man, but more importantly I have respect for his character and what he did for mine. Although the last time he coached a championship team was 1972, he was still producing champions on the day he retired in 1988. My sadness is mixed with gratitude that I was one of his students. Godspeed Kent Hayden.